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Pressure Ulcers Too Common in Nursing Homes

Pressure ulcers have become all too commonplace in nursing homes and can be not only bothersome for patients but deadly as well. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has come up with many ways to treat pressure sores early. One of the main suggestions that they have is to properly educate those who are dealing with the elderly. Information should include risk factors and skin treatment.

First they suggest that you should inspect the skin daily and document any results. They also suggest that individualizes bathe frequently, but make sure to avoid hot water. The committee suggests treating incontinence. When this cannot be controlled, the skin should be cleansed at the time of soling. Then there should be a topical moisture barrier that should be applied. A dry lubrication such as cornstarch can be used to reduce friction of the skin.

In order to prevent pressure ulcers, the patient should be repositioned every 2 hours. If that patient is in a wheelchair than you should reposition them every hour. Nursing home employees have should teach wheelchair-bound patients to shift their weights every 15 minutes. The use of pillows or foam wedges will keep boney prominences such as ankles and knees to come into direct contact with each other. All nursing homes should do pressure ulcer risk assessments on their patients. The nursing home patients should consider postural alignment and distribution of weight when positioning those in wheelchairs. These include risk factors include mental status, moisture, incontinence and nutritional deficits. To learn more about pressure ulcers, please click the link.